Protesting Against Economic Reforms
Trade unions in India observed a twoday strike against the government’s economic reforms, describing them as anti-labor. The union members blocked rail and road traffic, affecting daily activities during the course of the strike. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to the union to call off the strike that direly affected India’s economy.
The protests took a serious turn when unknown assailants killed the leader of the trade union. The protest had an impact in the eastern part of West Bengal and southern Kerala states where trade unions enjoy greater cohesiveness. The striking unions, who pledge their allegiance to the Communists, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party, are also protesting against the government’s decision to open retail, insurance and aviation sectors to foreign investment and increasing prices of subsidised fuel. Officials of the trade union are of the view that the government’s anti-labor policies are ignoring the workers’ rights.
By introducing reforms, the government plans to revive its failing economy and save its declining credit ratings. Prime Minister Singh is certain that the reforms would help strengthen the growth process and will create employment opportunities. The country lost millions of dollars last September when the trade union observed a similar strike.